Ex-astronaut Mark Kelly makes Democratic bid for Senate seat

Ex-astronaut Mark Kelly makes Democratic bid for Senate seat

Gun Rights

PHOENIX (AP) — Retired astronaut Mark Kelly, who became a prominent gun-control advocate after his wife and former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot in a failed assassination attempt, announced Tuesday he will run to finish John McCain’s last term in the U.S. Senate. If he wins the Democratic nomination, Kelly would take on Republican Martha McSally in what is expected to be one of the most closely contested Senate races of the 2020 election. Kelly described himself as an independent-minded centrist who will take a scientist’s data-driven approach to solving problems such as climate change, wage stagnation and health care affordability. "You see a lot of partisanship in Washington and a lot of polarization, and to some extent we’ve created that," Kelly told The Associated Press. "It’s going to take people who are more independent to fix it. Arizonans value independence." If Kelly is nominated the race would pit the Navy veteran and astronaut against McSally, a trailblazing Air Force pilot, in the contest to replace McCain, a legendary Navy flyer who was famously shot down and held captive in North Vietnam. McSally is a former Republican congresswoman who was appointed to McCain’s seat after she narrowly lost to Democrat Kyrsten Sinema last November in the race for outgoing Republican Jeff Flake’s seat. McSally leaned heavily on her record as the first woman to fly a combat mission, but she was hurt by her embrace of President Donald Trump. Kelly decried politicians who "ignore data and facts and […]

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